STRANGER BY BOLU AJIBADE
Bolu Ajibade is a musician from Nigeria, born in Ibadan, Oyo state. He currently lives in Winnipeg, Canada, but divides his time in other cities across Canada such as Toronto and Ottawa, sharing his music with the people.
“To be sincere, I would say music chose me”.
Bolu didn’t grow up with a musical background. He had no clue about the technicalities of music, but as he matured he found that creating it made him feel special. Even without musical training or mentors, he discovered that there was a magical quality in the ability to turn his emotions into melodies.
In 2018, while still attending University in Canada, Bolu released his first single, Koba, delivering playful lyrics over an infectious dancehall beat. Moving seamlessly between afrobeats and afroswing, Bolu’s discography is filled with upbeat tunes that spread equal joy and the desire to have a good time.
So far his music journey has been an adventure, one that has helped him discover his true self. Bolu hopes to share this experience with his listeners, aiming to make music that inspires people to enjoy the present, and to be proud of who they are.
His upcoming project, Stranger, serves as an official introduction of Bolu to the world. He’s come on the scene, and he’s here to stay.
STRANGER The EP
What’s the significance of the project?
Stranger is Bolu’s first official compiled project. The name itself refers to the fact that he’s new on the scene. Previously he’s released singles, but this is an opportunity for him to show himself and what he’s capable of. More than anything, Bolu just wants to share good music with the world. It means the world to him that he was able to put these songs together and come up with a project, especially considering how daunting the experience was, and how much pain and hard times were involved. But now he’s able to stand back and see that work has been transformed to joy in the form of his art. The intention was always to create something with lasting effect, something that he can look back on in a few years and be proud of, and that’s what Stranger is.
How did we get here?
Ultimately, the journey here took a lot of patience.
Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, this project was born from years of work. Bolu spent time listening to other artists, gathering inspiration, struggling to figure out what his sound really was recording and re-recording, writing and rewriting. There were times that he was
exhausted, but he always held on to his dream. Finally, in 2020, when he felt that he was ready to release, COVID-19 and the pandemic had other ideas. This forced Bolu to re-evaluate, and ultimately postpone his musical plans. He felt that he owed the world a perfect project, one that took into account the difficulties of the past year and would aid in the healing process as we all transition back to normal. Although the year-long wait was unexpected, it pressured Bolu to work harder and grow as an artist.
Hopes for the project?
Bolu knows that everyone who listens to the project might have a different reaction, but his main hope would be that they will all experience some type of joy because of it. He wants people to connect with each other, to smile, to catch a vibe. Stranger is not full of deep words or deep philosophy, but the hope is that the sound inspires happiness.
This song sees Bolu appealing to his lover over a lush beat filled with mid-tempo saxophone and maraca sounds that gel perfectly with the singer’s gentle, crooning tone. It’s full of intimacy, and yet it inspires a need for dancing. Involve Me leaves the listeners wanting more, a perfect intro to the project.
Cruising (ft. KVY)
Kvy’s sultry bass pairs perfectly with Bolu’s tenor tone in this blend of afrobeats and r&b. Following on from the first track, the conversation with Bolu and his lover is only intensifying, as Bolu invites listeners to come on a cruise with him, one that involves low stress, and a lot of options. The song is punctuated by high pitch background melodies that are sure to delight the listener.
This song shares a title with the EP, and for good reason. It features catchy rhyming patterns, an inviting instrumental beat, and notes of yoruba mixed in, culminating in a noteworthy afro lovesong. Stranger feels intimate, like a conversation between the artist and the listener, one that rouses goosebumps and good vibes alike.
Chasing (ft. Dammy D)
Dammy D and Bolu trade verses on this song about desire. The song outlines the ‘chase’ between a man and woman, and the sensuality is outlined by the 808s that accompany ambient sounds. Once again set over a mid-tempo beat, Bolu’s voice shines through, complemented by Dammy D’s similar tone, noteworthy for the deeper tone and harmonious auto tune that stays with the listener for many moments after the song has finished.
Allstate (ft. Minz)
Bolu’s use of catchy Yoruba slang over a classic afrobeats instrumental sets this song out as the ‘party’ song of the pack. He delivers an unforgettable hook, while Minz’s verse stands out as a result of his unique passion-filled voice. The two bounce off each other perfectly, creating a tune that glides smoothly and is reminiscent of a care-free summer day filled with laughter, the perfect note to end the EP.